Punjabi in Tanzania

Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

The name "Punjabi" is used to describe both those who speak Punjabi and those who inhabit the Punjab region in India and Pakistan. Punjabi is an Indo-European language that is divided into six main dialects. Those in Tanzania speak the Eastern Punjabi dialect.

Modern Punjabi culture was largely shaped by the partitioning of India and Pakistan in 1947. This event resulted in massive migrations that separated the Muslims from the Hindus and Sikhs. In general, the Muslim Punjabis live in Pakistan, while the Hindu or Sikhs are in India. One can also find large Punjabi communities in nearly thirty other countries including Tanzania.

The mid-1800s were when the first Sikhs arrived in Tanzania. They worked on railroads and settled in their new African homeland. They built up small shops and businesses. The Sikhs soon became successful business owners. Others owned large farms, worked as engineers or in furniture businesses. After Tanzania gained her independence, most of the Sikhs moved either to the United States or Canada, but a smaller number remain in Tanzania.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Wherever they have gone, the resourceful Punjabi have made a place for themselves within the local communities. In Tanzania, as in most countries where they have settled, Punjabis are employed in many different occupations. The Sikhs, who represent the majority of the Tanzanian Punjabi, have entered various professions. They excel as mechanics and work in construction.

While the living conditions of the Punjabis differ from country to country, they have kept much of their traditional culture and language. Though the language is still Punjabi, there are cultural differences between each of the three religious communities.

Conflicts between Punjabis usually involve "land, women and water." This means they deem it necessary to control the means by which a person perpetuates his family and property. This kind of thinking affects the Diaspora Punjabis, though they are unlikely to be landowners outside of South Asia.

In traditional Punjabi culture, the men oversee the family possessions, such as land, shops, or other business assets. The women manage the homes. They cook, care for the children, manage the household finances, and take care of any domestic animals.

Among the diaspora Punjabis, newly married couples set up their homes wherever they choose. Parents arrange the marriages after extensive discussions.

Among the Punjabis, there is no overall system of social control. Instead, each institution (such as business, home, civil administration, religious organization, or political organization) has its own set of laws and disciplinary measures.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Most Punjabis in Tanzania are Sikhs. Sikhism is a monotheistic religion that was founded in northern India during the sixteenth century. Its teachings have combined the elements of both Hinduism and Islam in an attempt to find one god who transcends all religious distinctions.

What Are Their Needs?

There are many Christian resources in the Punjabi language, but very few Punjabi Christian believers. They need Christ-bearers to go to them.

Prayer Points

Pray for the Punjabi people in Tanzania to have hearts that are open to the abundant blessings of Jesus Christ.

Pray for their families to prosper financially and spiritually as they experience a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Pray for a movement to Christ among the Punjabi people in Tanzania that will spread joy, peace, and salvation.

Pray for the Punjabi culture to be renewed and enhanced by a work of the Holy Spirit and shaped into a God-centered and God-honoring mold.

Pray for the Holy Spirit to move among Punjabi family and community leaders to seek his face and enjoy his blessings.

Scripture Prayers for the Punjabi in Tanzania.

Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

Additional Info
Global Prayer Digest: 2010-01-22
People Name General Punjabi
People Name in Country Punjabi
Pronunciation puhn-JAH-bee
Population this Country 75,000
Population all Countries 2,136,000
Total Countries 18
Indigenous No
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group No
GSEC 1  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
Alternate Names Eastern Punjabi; Gurmukhi; Mirpur Punjabi; Panjabi; Sikh
People ID 14483
ROP3 Code 108182
Country Tanzania
Region Africa, East and Southern
Continent Africa
10/40 Window No
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Island of Anjouan   Source:  Joshua Project
Country Tanzania
Region Africa, East and Southern
Continent Africa
10/40 Window No
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Island of Anjouan.   Source:  Joshua Project

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Primary Language Punjabi, Eastern (75,000 speakers)
Language Code pan   Ethnologue Listing
Primary Dialect Punjabi
Dialect Code 761   Global Recordings Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Punjabi, Eastern (75,000 speakers)
Language Code pan   Ethnologue Listing
Primary Dialect Punjabi
Dialect Code 761   Global Recordings Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Punjabi, Eastern

Primary Language:  Punjabi, Eastern

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1818-1954)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1815-2011)
Bible-Complete Yes  (1818-2021)
Bible-NT Audio Online
Bible-NT Text Online
Possible Print Bibles
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching
Audio Recordings DAVAR Partners recording, complete Bible
Audio Recordings Online New Testament
Audio Recordings Online New Testament
Audio Recordings Recorded oral Bible
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio
Film / Video Eyes of the Heart
Film / Video Following Jesus video
Film / Video God's Story video
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Punjabi, Eastern
Film / Video Magdalena video
Film / Video Satsung of the Sadguru Jesus
Film / Video Story of Jesus for Children
Film / Video Who Can Help You?
General Biblical answers to your questions
General Four Spiritual Laws
General Gospel resources links
General Zume Resources
General Zume Training
Mobile App Download Bible from Google Play Store
Primary Religion: Other / Small
Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.20 %)
1.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
10.00 %
9.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
80.00 %
0.00 %
Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
0.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
30.0 %
Roman Catholic
70.0 %
Photo Source Web Flippy - Pixabay  Creative Commons 
Profile Source Joshua Project  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more